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Walmart Shoplifter Had Loaded Gun, Police Say

The gun's serial number had been removed, according to Saddle Brook Police.

Police recovered this gun with a defaced serial number from an alleged shoplifter. Photo: Saddle Brook Police Department
Police recovered this gun with a defaced serial number from an alleged shoplifter. Photo: Saddle Brook Police Department

A woman caught trying to shoplift from the Saddle Brook Walmart Thursday had a fully-loaded gun in her purse, according to Police Chief Robert Kugler.

Saddle Brook police responded to Walmart at about 6 p.m. Thursday after receiving a report that store security caught two shoplifters with goods worth about $75. 

When Sgt. Anthony Maneri and Detective Sgt. Thomas Johnson brought the alleged shoplifters, Shonda Sullivan, 42, and Derek Pitts, 48, both of Paterson, back to police headquarters for processing, they found a fully-loaded Ruger .45 caliber semi-autmatic handgun in Sullivan's purse, Kugler said. The gun's serial number had been removed.

"This is an clear example of not only how common illegal weapons can be found in the everyday environment, but more importantly how dangerous an incident can be for our law enforcement officers as well as the general public when coming into contact with these criminals," Deputy Chief Robert White said in a press release.

Sullivan was charged with shoplifting, possession of a weapon and defacing a firearm. She was sent to Bergen County Jail on $10,000 bail. Pitts was charged with shoplifting and was released on his own recognizance.

Police sent the gun to the Bergen County Sheriff's Office Bureau of Criminal Identification for ballistics examination and testing.  

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